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Bill Mahr rightly despises the spineless democratic candidates who refuse to step up the the Drug War topic. He also, rightly, despises people who condone Rush Limbaugh's and their own use of drugs yet call for the public torture and execution of 14 year-old crack dealers in the hood.

The bottom line is, we all pick our poison and shouldn't arbitrarily punish and shame some, and accept and coddle others. There's nothing about preferring the high from oxycontin or liquor or speed (caffeine, ephedra, etc - speed, the drug America really loves) that makes you morally superior to people who like pot or mushrooms or even heroin for that matter, because that's what Oxycontin is, heroin in a pill. Gee, no wonder it's popular.

Link: http://www.safesearching.com/billmaher/blog/archives/000101.html

I think Thomas Szasz put it best when he wrote... Shoot! I sold my copy of Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market before we left the country last year, so I don't have access to the exact quote. I'll try to reproduce it from memory; "What we call 'drug education' in this country consists of teaching children hatred and intolerance of other people's drug habits." (Or words to that effect.)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2003 08:17 am (UTC)
It's that good ol' Yankee Puritanism (or, what is commonly called "Puritanism," anyway, even if it's not quite fair to the Puritans): God giveth thee unlimited authority to seek out and kill thy neighbor's buzz.
Dec. 17th, 2003 08:27 am (UTC)
kill thy neighbor's buzz
Nice turn of phrase.

Dec. 17th, 2003 08:25 am (UTC)
oh, and another thing
It may be that the 14-year old crack dealers from the 'hood need killing, but not because they deal crack, rather because they murder in the course of business or while under the influence. On these same grounds I believe that those who kill while in an alcohol-fueled rage or stupor should be executed. (A few of those would cut down on DUI in any town.)

But it's amazing how few people have ever thought to separate these two issues.
Dec. 17th, 2003 08:37 am (UTC)
Re: oh, and another thing
It may be that the 14-year old crack dealers from the 'hood need killing, but not because they deal crack, rather because they murder in the course of business or while under the influence.

Killing in the course of conducting business: That's part of the business and will remain part of the business as long as the selling of in-demand products remains prohibitted. If we want to get a temporary fix for our collective bloodlust, sure we can kill a bunch of teenagers. If our goal is to show someone who's boss, brutal punishment works great. If what we really want is for them to change their behaivor and say, stop killing each other, then we need to change the nature of the business. There will always be money and status-hungy teenagers waiting to fill the empty slots in the organization, and they will kill because it's part of the job description. We can "hold them responsible" for practicing their jobs with competence, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that we inflict our retribution on them because we want their brethren to conduct their business differently. If we want to take the violence out of the drug-distribution system, we know how to do that, and it has nothing to do with punishment.
Dec. 17th, 2003 08:46 am (UTC)
Re: oh, and another thing
I agree, I think violence will fade from the doing of drug business if it's decriminalized. But that leaves violence committed under the influence. Stuff like crack, meth and PCP is much more likely to unleash a person's aggression than caffeine, alcohol, pot or Oxycontin, is it not?
Dec. 17th, 2003 09:26 am (UTC)
is it not?
I don't know. I've never knowingly put crack or PCP into my body. One night back in the late 80's I was given all the crystal meth I could snort. It made my heart race and gave me dry mouth and severe BO. I detected no psychological effects either good or bad. I certainly didn't feel angry or hostile. It simply served as the seed for what has grown into a conviction that stimulant drugs do not aggree with my bodily chemistry.

While I don't have much personal internal experience with the effects of the drugs you mentioned, I've certainly spent a lot of time with people who have taken these drugs, and I have ingested far more alcohol in my life than I care to reflect upon. My conclusion is that no drug I've tried or experienced via the company of a person under its influence even comes close to the power of alcohol to unleash rage and violent behavior. Nothing in my experience has even come within an order of magnitude of alcohol in that regard.
Dec. 17th, 2003 09:52 am (UTC)
Well, either way, the point is that people who hurt people should be punished, and I do not feel that the knowing ingestion of ANY drug should make anyone any less liable.
Dec. 17th, 2003 10:04 am (UTC)
I don't share your enthusiasm for punishment, but I agree that having knowingly ingested a drug prior to the commission of a crime does nothing to releive the perpetrator of that crime of his responsibility/liability for having committed it.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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